The Dallas Cowboys scored a big win in our Madden simulation this week on the road but the game itself was anything but typical. Here were the three biggest takeaways from the division win.
3. Ezekiel Elliott was unstoppable
Ezekiel Elliott wasn’t just good against the Washington front, he was sensational, topping 100 yards on just 15 carries and finding the endzone three times to prove the difference in a drama-filled game.
When things threatened to go off the rails in the third quarter, Elliott steadied the ship with a series of gashing runs that eventually resulted in a Cowboys touchdown. The score snapped a 21-0 run by Washington. He then continued to punish the defensive front, breaking tackles and reaching the second level with regularity. Without him, Dallas would not have won this game.
2. CeeDee Lamb is an afterthought in Madden most weeks
CeeDee Lamb is a tremendous wide receiver—one of the most dangerous in the league when in the open field. Despite this, he has been largely a non-factor for the Cowboys since Michael Gallup returned from his calf injury.
Considering Lamb operating out the slot is actually a far more dangerous weapon the Cowboys offense can wield, it’s strange he only sees one or two targets a game in these simulations. In this particular game, Lamb saw one target, a 20+ yard gain that iced the game on a 3rd-and-9 play.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s great Lamb was able to set up victory formation for the good guys, but that Cooper and Gallup can routinely see five targets each while one of the most dynamic players in the league remains an afterthought is not a strong point of accuracy for Madden’s simulation.
The Cowboy defense isn’t just opportunistic, it’s explosive
The Dallas defense recorded four turnovers, including two defensive touchdowns. In the first half.
On the first play of the game, Taylor Heinecke was sacked at his own 15-yard line. The ball popped free and was recovered by DeMarcus Lawrence at the 11-yard line. One play later, Dak Prescott found Michael Gallup for the first score of the day.
On Washington’s next drive, Heinecke was again sacked, this time with the ball at the Cowboys’ 2-yard line. The ball took a crazy bounce and suddenly Keanu Neal found himself sprinting the other way for a 98-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown. 14-0 Cowboys.
Washington would score on its next possession but Trevon Diggs intercepted him near mid-field on the subsequent possession. Following a Cowboys’ three-and-out, Anthony Brown would join the party with a 44-yard pick-six.
In the second half, things would get crazy as Washington rallied from a 28-7 deficit to knot the game up at 28 all, but the defense would again rise to the challenge—notably the debuting Neville Gallimore, who recorded a big sack on 3rd-and-inches near mid-field in a one score game and later recovered a fumble and returned it 30+ yards for the final Cowboys’ touchdown.
In all, the Cowboys defense logged five takeaways and two defensive scores. What’s more, turnovers by Dak Prescott inside the Cowboys 15-yard line and a pick-six moments later essentially gifted Washington 14 of its 35 points. When taking those offensive blunders into account, the defense gave up just 21 points overall, meaning it quite literally matched Washington’s offense in scoring by itself.
Pretty hard to lose a game like that. Thankfully Dallas didn’t.
You can watch our entire Madden simulation for Sunday’s game right here.
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